College can consume an ample amount of time and can be excruciatingly costly. According to the US Department of Education, students collectively fork up roughly $1.4 trillion dollars just to get a 4-year education. In comes Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has concoted a way for students to bypass all four years of sometimes-dubiously-valued undergrad studies and go straight into graduate school (if you would like to attend graduate school). And get this: you don’t have to take the dreaded GRE exam. There are no degree requirements either, so you can still be in high school and participate. This past June, MIT created MITx MicroMasters, a clunkily-named program which will allow students to take several obligatory virtual classes and exams. As far as the program’s subjects go, MIT offers courses in economics, development policy, and supply chain management, among others. Students who successfully completethe exams will receive a MicroMasters credential form, which is a key to getting into graduate school at MIT and other prestigious universities.
Those who have enough merit to get accepted to MIT will attend a “mixed” masters program that will integrate all online studies and an extra semester on-site campus. However, the program includes costs of $100-$1,000 per class and exam, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll even make it to graduate school. The classes and exams in the MITx MicroMasters program are equivalent to regular university classes offered in an Ivy League school. Students admitted to MIT tend to have an average SAT score of 2400, average GPA of 4.13, and are the top 8% of their class. In short, it won’t be easy! Nevertheless, everyone (domestic and international) will have equal opportunities to participate in the program. Just last month, the very first class of the program was comprised of 180,000 students. Out of those students, more than 1,100 successfully completed all the online classes. On top of that, about 600 students passed the final test. That says a lot about how rigorous the program is. Is this the future of the education system in Ivy League schools and perhaps many other universities? This approach may be a much more cost-efficient way of attending secondary education and obtaining a degree.
(Photo courtesy of Supply Chain MIT.)